Circular breathing is a technique for sustaining a tone on a wind instrument without interruption. When a musician's lungs are nearly out of air, he or she uses the cheeks to force air out of the mouth while quickly breathing in through the nose, and then resumes exhaling from the lungs. For some instruments, such as the Australian didgeridoo or the Cambodian sralai, circular breathing is an integral part of the playing technique. How long is the world record for holding a single note?
John F. Kennedy
Back in the day
The Sunday evening express train from Hastings to London was traveling 70 miles per hour (113 km/h) when it struck a stressed and fractured rail not far from London's Hither Green depot. The packed train derailed and partially overturned, killing 49 people in one of the worst rail disasters in British history. Several other trains may have successfully passed over the broken rail earlier. What safety feature, present on the particular train that derailed, may have triggered the accident?
Born on a day like today
One of the most prominent Mongol leaders of Persia, Ghazan was raised Buddhist but converted to Islam in 1295 before inheriting his father's throne. Well educated and fluent in several languages, he tasked his vizier with composing a history of the Mongols. In Syria, he successfully fought his family's enemy, the Mamluks, but they reoccupied the area upon his departure. What European nation became so fascinated with Mongol culture in the 13th century that many children were named for Ghazan?